Sports are crazy and unpredictable.
The Winnipeg Jets and the Philadelphia Flyers played a game last night that feature 17 goals. It ended 9-8 for Winnipeg on a goal with 1:06 to go by Andrew Ladd, just 2:31 after James Van Riemsdyk tied the game up for the Flyers. 17 goals. Sports are crazy and unpredictable, and nobody could have seen that craziness coming in.
Then we had Game Six of the World Series. That was equally crazy.
I continue to plug baseball stories into Nucks Misconduct, because baseball is connected to what I do here. Baseball is more developed in the realm of statistical analysis and baseball's long-time fans are significantly more advanced in their "dear assholes, you are ruining the game" storylines.
I get a lot of comments and e-mails for my work in response. Sometimes it's helpful and appreciate, and occasionally I get a "dear asshole" letter from somebody who thinks stats ruin the game. You can never fully predict hockey, and sometimes a game will wow you with 17 goals to the chagrin of stat-heads and defensive geeks. And despite baseball being way more advanced, nobody could have predicted the wild, wild Game Six of the World Series last night.
The Rangers had two chances to close out the game and the series up by two runs. Twice, the Cardinals tied the game, and eventually won in the bottom of the 11th inning on a homerun by David Freese.
We didn't know. We can never know. And never turn on a stat-head because you think that what he's trying to do is ruining the game. The most a stat-head can do for a baseball or hockey team is increase their chances of winning from 50% to 55%. It's all about that little work in the margins that make your team a little bit better. But sports remain crazy and unpredictable to the finish. There is no way of knowing, and we are in no way ruining the game.
tl;dr: Stats in no way make sports less interesting.